Posted by: lcowie | September 24, 2008

Financial Crisis

$700 billion bailout plan dampens day for Elon citizens

Little hope for the future

by Lesley Cowie

The Federal Reserve’s new plan to reverse the economy’s recession will include bailing out banks for $700 billion. This means that the government plans to help financial companies by pledging $700 billion to them. This money, which is equivalent to $2,333 per American, will come from a variety of sources.

Burlington residents have mixed viewpoints of the situation; for them, reversing the recession should be a positive process, though they see little potential in that happening successfully.

When the government has to bail out banks, you know there is something wrong, said Susan Sharp, an Aramark employee at Elon University. Besides praying, there is not much we can do about the recession.

“I don’t see it getting any better any time soon,” Sharp said.

I want to say that a new president can help, Sharp said, but I do not know if they will be able to do anything.

Other residents agreed with these sentiments. Eleonore Dunn, owner of Eleonore’s Hair Design, acknowledged the government’s need to take further action and explained why her negative feelings toward the economy should be remedied.

“They have to do something,” Dunn said, “or else we will be deeper into a recession.”

After experiencing the Great Depression in the 1930s, Dunn fears that the falling economy will slump to a devastating level. It is very scary, Dunn said. Young people have more years to go, she said, but we are close to retirement.

Junior Brian Mackey discusses his outlook and predictions on the financial crisis.

Junior Brian Mackey discusses his outlook and predictions on the financial crisis.

Even the younger generation recognizes and worries about the unfortunate state of the economy. Brian Mackey, a junior economics major at Elon, focused on the negative aspects of the housing market, as well as gas prices.

“The housing market is in chaos,” Mackey said. “We shouldn’t be in this position. We have to do the bailout or else we will be in more recession.”

Dunn’s biggest concern about the bailout is the fact that the government favors some Americans over others. Some people, she said, are more in the position to handle this crisis than the rest of us.

“With the CEOs, what they make is ridiculous,” Dunn said. “Nobody is worth that much money.”

While the recession has affected most Americans, some breathe a delicate sigh of relief. Michaelle Graybeal, an employee at All That JAS retail store, noted how some aspects of the recession affect her more than others.

“We’re a business exempt from the recession because we’re a specialty,” Graybeal said. “We are a specialty store. Somehow the kids find the money to continue purchasing our products. We’re a recession-proof business.”

On the other hand, Graybeal said, gas is a big deal. I drive a Tahoe, she said, and I have to spend 80 dollars to fill up my tank. It is a lot of money coming out of my pocket, she said.

All That JAS employee Michaelle Graybeal touches on the housing market and local foreclosures.

While most residents focus on the negative aspects, Mackey tries to find optimism among the chaos.

I expect the financial companies to turn around by next year, Mackey said. I also think oil prices will go down in the next few months, he said.

This kind of optimism will hopefully find voters this November as they seek to elect a new president. With a new administration in office, voters can hope and pray that the financial crisis will turn around.

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